Sunday, December 12, 2010

House Covered with Christmas Lights is Spectacularly Costly

The feeling of joy on having colored lights this Christmas at your home can be incomparable to most people that they at least have some Christmas lights in their house. But some can get too extravagant in lighting the entire house and garden using 1 million lights just like the Faucher Family of Delaware. This has already become a tradition for them every month of December that they setup lights most importantly for 25 years now. But how much would be the electric cost to maintain these bright and beautifully arranged Christmas lights? Let’s compute.

With the help of House Logic’s estimations and calculations, they have come up with a staggering result that will make you gawk. In a month of lighting the Faucher house with 1 million lights every 4 hours a night, they have computed an electric consumption of $82,320! Now that’s a bill worth celebrating the whole Christmas season!

House Logic has estimated the cost of $686 per hour if the 1 million lights are 5 watt-C7 bulbs. Assuming that they are using it for at least 4 hours each night for 30 days, there will be a total of 120 hours for the entire month. Multiply the cost per hour to the total hours in a month, the total charge for electricity will be $82,320. On the other hand, if the family will shift to LED lights, it will only cost them $89 per hour which will give them $71,640 savings for the month.

Photo credit: House Logic via Gizmodo

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tron Movie Inspired Hotel Room is Way Too Cool!

The new version of the Tron movie hasn’t been shown yet but Tron mania has already started and this hotel room in Sweden is one example. Just by looking at the photograph, you will know that it is already Tron and you can’t help but be mystified by the environment and be nostalgic with the old version of the movie that became a blockbuster back in the 80’s. This room is actually a part of the Ice Hotel which makes me want to visit and stay for a night or two.

This room called the “legacy of the river” is inspired by the nightclub scene in the movie and was designed by Extreme Design professionals Ben Rousseau and Ian Douglas-Jones. As you can see, these two are obvious fans of the said movie and they have admitted they are. The Ice Hotel has 19 uniquely-designed rooms and this kind of style is one of them.

Superbly, the room was designed in great details and believe or not, the designers spent almost two weeks building it in a freezing (-22) degrees Celsius temperature.

Photo credit: Extreme Design via Design Boom

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Share Contact Details in Seconds with My Name Is iPhone App

The My Name Is E iPhone app will let you share contact information with anyone by simply opening it with a person who also have the application on their iPhone near you. Sharing your contact is now made easier especially when you are on a hurry or if you are in a crowd. By simply downloading the app, you can just open it and then send the details to other iPhones.

Once you open the app, your name will pop up on the iPhone of anyone who has the same app with you. This will happen in just seconds where you can be ready to send or not to send your personal details.

Another good thing about this is that you can also send your contact details to people who do not have an iPhone by using the app’s email capabilities. All you have to do is to email your contact details to those people.

The My Name Is E iPhone apps is free for use and downloadable from the iTunes store.

Photo credit: iTunes via Gizmodo

Sunday, December 5, 2010

This Office Exercise Chair is Extreme-Looking

Gym enthusiasts who are too busy working at the office can now do multitasking in both workout and paperwork. This chair called Gymgym is composed of 16 resistance bands that are designed to give you the chance to perform certain exercises while sitting. All you have to do is to work, relax, and does your favorite work out such as military press, bench press, and so on. This can be ideal whenever we are bored and we can think of something to do and we wish we are inside the gym to take care of our fitness. Now, this kind of new office chair becomes interesting.

At first look, we have to admit that the chairs appear scary. I just thought that it is a chair used in BDSM and other bondage and torture activities. But with 3 colors to choose from, you might want to get something that is less extreme to look at.

Photo credit: Gymgym via Gizmodo

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Best Buys This Holiday Season

As the Holiday Season approaches, holiday shopping rush is all over town with shops having on-sales that will truly make the experience more exciting and fun. Most of the time, it’s hard to pick which items on sale are worth purchasing because they all seem good to have! But hey, be careful on spending. You might be missing out the best buys that you can purchase and you can have this Season.

Thanks to people at that I have stumbled upon their best buy tips for this Christmas month! I think the advice is worth sharing and here are the best things to look for if they are on-sale this December:

Wedding dress and gears
According to SmartMoney website, the price of these products can be driven a bit because of slow season and decent stock. Since December is an ideal season of weddings and engagements to most couples, this can be a great buy especially with discounts!

Many people may have already taken early precautions in doing repairs in their houses and chimneys even before winter comes. This means that this season is not time for fixing things unless you want to work while it is freezing outside. But hey, you have to prepare your tools and get ready to be a handy man after the snow melts this December.

While New Year’s Eve is a bit far and still out of attention because people are still focused on Christmas, you got to start having your stock of champagne while prices haven’t risen yet.

Home Entertainment
HDTVs and other home entertainment stores may give you a great deal this month. January can also be the best time to buy but if you want to give a great gift this holiday season, this aint a bad suggestion.

Photo credit: Lifehacker

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Meet the Creative Doodlers of Google Logo

Aside from being an ideal search engine, what makes me want to visit Google is the excitement of seeing the doodles on its logo! Who can’t forget Pac-Man’s 30th anniversary Google logo where you can actually play the game? I can also remember the playable music video of Imagine on John Lennon’s birthday this year. And who would have thought that the main doodlers of Google have already attained a unique career in their company?

Yes, the team of the talented and clever google doodlers of the search engine led by Chief Doodler Michael Lopez has already become a regular job position and they are really doing great works every now and then. But though this Google job has formally started only in 2003, the tradition has already started years ago even in the early days of the search engine. According to the founders of the company Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the first doodle that they can remember doing was making the second ‘O’ of the logo a stick figure using a clip art.

According to the former lead doodler Dennis Hwang, "Larry and Sergey had done some of these themselves and they used freelance artists. The doodles didn't have any consistency, and they covered mainly the big U.S. holidays. So when I joined, we started a slightly more formal process and looked at how to have more fun with it."

At present, the doodler team is composed of four people led by Lopez where they think of ways on how they can make great logo tweaks that will somehow become fun, informative, and timely.

Photo credit: Lea Suzuki - The Chronicle via Gizmodo

Monday, November 29, 2010

Blackbox Macbook Cases Goes Naturally Wooden

When sometimes we feel like metal and glass are all over our gadgets then it’s time to look back for wood designs. The wooden Blackbox Macbook now offer this vey posh and stylish cases that will really give you a new feel of technological devices. The natural design is more detailed and it is so far the only one’s that I have seen so far.

This wooden case available in the market now is hand-oiled and hand-sanded individually to give each of it a high-class quality. This case is lightweight that it only weighs 1.5 pounds.

Photo credit: Blackbox

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bike-Sharing Scheme Using WiFi and GPS – New York

If you think cars can only have wireless Internet system and satellite tracking technology, now, bicycles can also be equipped with WiFi and GPS. In fact, the Department of Transportation in New York City is proposing to equip the technology to 10,000 bikes. This scheme is actually a pimped community bike plan that was already started in places like Denver, Minneapolis, Washington, and Amsterdam.

When this happens, it will become the largest bike-sharing system in the entire United States. Aside from the number of bikes, they can also be available 24 hours a day with unlimited 30-min long hire periods. Hiring a bike can be done by subscription which is also accessible in 30 docking stations strategically located in the city. This can also be the greenest ever cycling experience since 600 of these bikes are solar-powered.

This can be a new amazing experience for bikers that is on its way.

Photo credit: Fastco

Monday, November 22, 2010

Update Your iPad and iPhone with the Latest iOS 4.2

The honest-to-goodness iOS 4.2 is now out to give iPad and iPhone users the newest features that will give additional experiences such as multitasking, AirPlay, and Find My iPhone free service.


If you are an “appoholic” and you love to use different kinds of apps switching them back and forth, now you can get rid of flipping through page after page of them because switching is made easier. Finally, you also get a unified inbox! Another extra that you will love is the change of orientation lock to a mute switch. By just double-tapping the home button, the orientation will be locked. To reach a soft switch, all you have to do is to swipe it to the left.


This feature lets you wirelessly stream music and videos from iPad or iPhone to an Apple TV without the fuss. Another called AirPrint, on the other hand, will let you print docs and webpages to a printer wirelessly.

Find My iPhone

This service is free though limited only to iPhone4, iPod Touch 4th gen, and iPad. By using a map, you will be able to find your lost iOS device by using this service. You just have to make sure that the service is activated.

Other iOS 4.2 features

You can get new ringtones for your iPhone4, text searching inside Safari webpages, and different fonts that you can select to use in the Notes app.

You can get the iOS 4.2 update by plugging your device in iTunes and then check for updates.

Photo credit: Apple

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Train’s Railway Becomes Pasta ‘Al Dente’

It’s not like you are seeing a Photoshop’d funny picture featuring a warped railway but you are actually looking at a real photograph.

This picture scene was an after-effect of the recent earthquake that hit the countryside of Canterburry in New Zealand last September. The said calamity had caused several traces of destruction in the area which includes land deformation.

According to Dave Petley via the American Geophysical Union, the above picture of land and railway deformation might be caused by weak points being hit by the tremors. He speculates and I quote:

“The compression on the very strong railway line was accommodated when a weak point was found, leading to a comparatively rapid deformation to form the main buckle on the left. This then concentrated stress on both sides of the buckle, allowing the other (right side) bends to form."

The lesson that we can get from this photograph is to be always prepared whenever Mother Nature starts to shake our grounds.

Photo credit: via Gizmodo

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tizi Box Lets You Watch Live TV on Your iPad!

With the new Tizi service, you can now get live TV watching experience right on your iPad using Eye TV. This service requires computer streaming which can work anywhere but people from Europe will be the first ones to enjoy this offer.

The secret to the Tizi TV technology is the pulling of DVB-T/DT signals by using its ARM 9 process in decoding. The decoded signal will then be streamed to an iOS device using WiFi technology. You can even enjoy watching your favorite programs with this service by having an app that will let you use an on-screen channel guide to help you tune-in different programs.

The gadget just looks likes a tiny box which is convenient enough to be carried anywhere you want with your iPad, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and latest iPod Touch. The battery can last up to 3.5 hours. Though it is only available in selected countries in Europe, there are big hopes that this gadget will soon be conquering the US.

Photo credit: Tizi via Gizmodo

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Honda Throws Party for ASIMO’s 10th Birthday!

If Geppetto is for Pinocchio, then Honda is for ASIMO – the robot boy they have created which has captured the world’s amazement for a decade now. ASIMO is now celebrating his 10th birthday and just like any sense of fairytale; somehow people who loved this robot can wish him to become a real boy. We’ll just wait for a fairy to drop by.

But seriously on his birthday, let us take a look on what ASIMO has accomplished over the years according to Telegraph.

“ASIMO was created 10 years ago as part of Honda's program of research and development into robotics and human mobility. After 10 years of innovation and development, it can now run and walk on uneven slopes and surfaces, climb stairs, and reach for and grasp objects. ASIMO can also comprehend and respond to simple voice commands, recognize faces and even avoid moving obstacles as it runs.”

ASIMO is moving on to the next level and that involved the fine tuning of his artificial intelligence (AI). Hopefully, this includes having the robot to care for the elderly and the disabled and having the ability that weak-bodied humans cannot do.

Photo credits: ASIMO Anniversary Site via Gizmodo

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Built-in SIM Card for Phones – Apple’s Development for iPhones

What do you think if a phone manufacturer will provide you with a SIM card exclusive to the phones they produce? This will surely give you more phone exclusive capabilities as far as purchasing is concerned which will cut out carriers. According to a GigaOM report, Apple is working on creating such iPhone exclusive SIM card!

According to Brian Barrett of Gizmodo, The plans reported by GigaOM involve the European market only, and would mean that customers could change carriers without having to change SIMs, and complete the entire purchasing process through Apple's website or retail stores. That would be effective overseas because the iPhone is offered by a multitude of carriers all operating on networks that use the same tech. In the US, the iPhone is an AT&T exclusive and incompatible with CDMA carriers.

But while the domestic implications of a baked-in SIM are few right now, one can imagine a future where they're quite powerful. The transition to 4G looks like it will be dominated by LTE, at which point one device would be compatible with all carriers. And AT&T's sweetheart deal looks all but expired. It may not be soon, but eventually an iPhone SIM would be just what Apple needs to circumvent carriers for hardware sales in the US. Just like they did with app sales.

Photo credit: GigaOM via Gizmodo

Monday, October 25, 2010

iPhone 4 Recharges Comfortably with Powermat Charger

If you think that the plug in phone chargers are already out then it is time for you to change your lifestyle to inductive charging mode. Cut off the crazy wires and cables and just charge your phones by laying it comfortably in a mat! Thanks to Powermat that this has become possible. This charging pad is already available for iPhone 4 with and accompanying case.

Wirelessly, this charger can recharge your iPhone 4 battery as seen on TV ads. Versions for other phones such as Droid X, EVO, Bold 9700Blackberry Curve 8500, and 9300 are on their way in the market.

Photo credit: Powermat via Gizmodo

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sony Cassette Walkman Killed on iPod’s Anniversary

For 3 decades that Sony has made the cassette Walkman a popular gadget icon, the company has finally announced the final demise of the portable cassette player. This means that they will stop manufacturing and selling the player right on the date when iPod celebrates its 9th birthday.

Stereo has become more portable with the birth of the Sony Walkman on July 1, 1979 in Japan making it a major breakthrough in the market. Though it was just a month-long hit because of media continuously panning it, Sony continued to push targeting younger markets by advertising it having young popstars. The efforts that year had good results and the sales grew ten times. For over 30 years, Sony has sold 200 units of the first Walkman and it has even become a known product in the world.

On October 31, 2001, iPod was born. And just like the walkman, it has also received lesser acceptance at first but then with continuous push, it eventually gained popularity which phased out the idea of portable music players such as Walkman. The cassette Walkman is not actually beaten by the iPod but the CD Walkman also from Sony. But in this case that iPod now prevails; it seemed that Sony has missed the assignment of having the desktop software to give people a portable experience in music play for which iPods are made of.

Photo credit: Crunchgear (Walkman); Gizmodo (iPod)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Protect Your iPhone4 with Metal Back Casing

Compared with the other models of iPhone who have fragile glass, this new iPhone 4’s backing made of glass is even more delicate. But there is always a solution to that without making your phone bulky with protective housings – a metal back cover.

Damaging your iPhone in case of accidental drops can become costly with repairs and sometimes it can be irreparable. So in order to avoid this to happen, all you have to invest in addition is $12 for a durable back metal casing. You can actually find so many of this beveled back metal case but there are also stores and blogs such as Unplggd where you can get something cheaper in price.

The metal back casing for iPhone4 is easy to install. All you have to do is to make some few screws and unscrewing and it is done. After having it, your iPhone is now protected against accidents without adding to much bulk on it.

Photo credit: Unplggd via Gizmodo

Friday, October 15, 2010

Online Test Drive a Mitsubishi at Home – Starting November 1

Test driving cars have already come to the next level – even actually doing it at home via the Internet. Yes, this program by Mitsubishi is totally amazing that you can have the ability to control a 2011 Outlander Sport by simply enrolling in a course where you can test drive car online without actually riding on it.

With this course, you will be able to steer the car, drive as if it is already yours, and maybe crash it if you can pay for the car itself. Experiencing this kind of test driving a car will let you use touch screen navigation. Having this as convenient as possible, there is no reason that you would not want to try this program.

Mitsubishi’s driverless test drive program will run from November 1 to November 10. You can start signing up for a slot now.

Video credit: Mitsubishi

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New iPhone Ringtones Secret

If you are fond of discovering iPhone secrets then here is one video that will let you get new ringtones without using any computer to download. Once you did what the video is actually telling, these iPhone ringtones are yours to have for free.

Though we have the chance to get these ringtones, they can only be used for rings during calls but not as SMS alerts. We just hope that someday Apply will let us use downloaded tones or tunes for text alerts.

Video credit: DreRandom via YouTube

Monday, October 11, 2010

Windows Phone 7 Apps Coming Your Way!

If you will try to visit the Zune Marketplace, you will notice that the section for the Windows Phone 7 is as empty as a vacant lot. But this is only for a moment because next month, loads of apps will be on their way for ready download.

Before launching the said apps, more apps will soon be announced and this is expected to gain more popularity for this phone. This phone is also Xbox Live connection enabled so this will mean heavy gaming action on your via mobile phone!

Here are reviews of different games, media, and social network via


Bye Bye Brain
You might be tired of tower defense games by this point. Don't be. Because as you can see, this one's 3D animations and perspective-shifting use of accelerometer make it a must-try.

Fruit Ninja
One of our favorites for the iPhone and iPad will be on WP7 at launch, so limber up those fingers for some pineapple-slicing action.

The Harvest
It's a cool-looking, graphics intensive RPG Microsoft's got on its hands. But more importantly, it's an exclusive cool-looking, graphics intensive RPG. Meaning your only chance to slay this particular alien horde is on WP7.

Sims 3
EA played coy for a while when it came to WP7 development, but thank goodness they're along for the ride—and bringing the venerable Sims franchise with them.

Three Zombie Games
What can I say? I'm a sucker for all things BRAAAIIIIIINNNNNNNSSSSSSS. And between Zombie Attack!, Zombies!!!!, and Age of Zombies it looks like I should be getting my fill.


Netflix will be there from the start, along with Watch Instantly functionality—which is going to look pretty sweet on those WP7 displays. Even more ways to clear out my queue!

Don't worry; Pandora's on its way. But in the meantime, it's worth giving Slacker a try—especially if you don't want to bother with a Zune Pass.

AT&T U-Verse Mobile
Here's a neat trick: even if you're not a U-Verse customer, you'll have full access to U-Verse TV content for $10 a month. And if you are a U-Verse customer, you get all the same viewing options along with the ability to manage your DVR.


We were a little worried about Twitter when it didn't show up on our WP7 in-depth look in July, but it'll be there on November 8th, complete with the ability to locate nearby tweets with GPS and the ability to poke around without signing in to a Twitter account.

Windows Phone 7 doesn't have an official Google Voice app, but third-party enabler GoVoice is already in the Zune Marketplace. In any incarnation—even for three bucks, as in this case—Google Voice is downright crucial.

Photo credit: Gizmodo

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ford Cars Now Comes with Cellphone-Like Dashboards

Cellphones nowadays are getting more functional and at the same time more useable having easy-to-use buttons and tweaks. This is where Ford has drawn its inspiration in designing dashboards of its new cars making them more useable and at the same time minimizing all the hassles while driving the car. In this design, Ford has collaborated with Ideo in order to give all the cars UI consistency.

Ideo, the original maker of the ‘Apple mouse’, provided some advice sought by Ford about giving their cars a standard layout that instead of creating their own inventions, they would rather adopt iPod and TV remote identical input devices.

According to via NY Times, here are the changes made by Ford on all its cars:
“One is the five-point controller - four directional arrows with a central button - on the steering wheel. Used on many electronic gadgets, it had roots in the points of the compass. Five-point controllers on the steering wheel are easily operated with the thumb, which lets drivers keep their eyes on the road.

A central eight-inch screen is organized around four corners and four colors: yellow-orange for the phone, green for navigation, blue for climate control and red for entertainment. There are, mercifully, large knobs for volume and fan speed.
You can see how much cellphone UI influenced Ford and Ideo in the prototype (the white and blue dashboard) and how much of that eventually trickled into the production model (the black dashboard). I think the changes that Ford made are absolutely welcome as car dashboards have been terrible from a technological standpoint for a very long time.”

Photo credit: Gizmodo

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hold Your Horses – 4G Phone is Coming Next Year!

The Verizon 4G iPhone is finally coming and it will be as soon as this coming 2011. But since Verizon iPhone is exclusively covering only one-thirds of Americans through the 4G LTE service, these customers will be the first ones to experience this new technology.

Verizon has always been dreaming about this advanced wireless standard called LTE and now with the 4G iPhone, it is indeed a dream come true for this company. Even the CEO of Verizon has already seen this coming.

Here is a little glimpse of the coming Verizon 4G iPhone.

Verizon is going to use the GSM-aligned LTE for the 4G wireless technology in all its phones. We have to remember that the iPhone at present is a GSM device which is not CDMA capable. But by using the GSM- aligned LTE, the technology used similar to AT&T will be comparable. Logically, the LTE will work as far as technology is concerned with both AT&T and Verizon running at fast speeds.

Photo credit: Gizmodo

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Motorola Droid Pro Looks Like a Blackberry Hybrid

If Motorola Android and Blackberry would have an offspring then it would be the new Motorola Droid Pro on Verizon. Though Blackberry has nothing to do with this new Motorola Droid model, the phone strangely looks like a marriage of the two phone brands. You can’t deny the fact that the Droid has the Qwerty keyboard which simply is a blackberry thing. But if you are expecting that this phone will work like the said phone, think again because this phone can be better.

Here are the specifications coming from Verizon:

3.1” screen
1 GHz processor
4 GB memory
5MP camera
QuickOffice for Office docs
Remote wipe
AuthenTec IPSec multi-headed VPn integration
SD card encryption

The camera’s video is DVD quality, DLNA compatible, and with 3G hotspot powers. Price is not yet official but I have been hearing something like $200.

Photo credit: BGR via Gizmodo

Sunday, October 3, 2010

iPhone New Hologram Creator Apps – Watch the Video!

I was crawling around the web this morning to find the latest and I had no idea that I was going to bump into the future of iPhone – well at least it is still a dream. I am talking about this video created by this man known as “the bald man” owing to what he calls himself in his site. The video is about an application in iPhone or the upcoming iPhone5 which have hologram-creation capabilities. As seen on the video of the bald guy, you just have to turn on the application and then start scanning your head. And then by holding it flat horizontally, the hologram of the scanned object will pop out of the screen. We know that it is still impossible for now to do that but this video gives us a promising glimpse of iPhone’s future.

I really had fun watching this video and while watching it, I started imagining what people can do if this hologram apps is finally available. I am thinking of having phone interviews with employers which can be very useful and modern. I also think that dating can be more fun by having this application on your phone.

This bald guy does have the talent in doing cool videos like this. If you have seen that shake it and see nude people walking apps video, it is also one of his creations. Cool bald guy!

Video credit: whoisthebaldguy (via YouTube)

New iPod Releases – Future is ‘Touch’

Going back to the feeling that I had when I bought my very first iPod almost 5 years ago, I was so amazed that this little gadget can actually have that big memory playing all the songs that I like. Now with the new releases of iPods minus the keypads and click wheels, the feeling of excitement is back especially now that the future of touch screen is in these new models.

These newly released iPod models are like hints that non-touch screen models will soon be phased out by touch integrated models. Let us take a review on these new product lines recently released in the market.

iPod Touch

The best thing to compare this new iPod Touch model is with iPhone 4 but it’s just that iPod works as an iPod while iPhone of course has the cellular components. This new model is already equipped with cameras. Yes, not only one camera but two cameras which can both give you still shots comparable to the iPhone 4 960x640 Retina display resolution. Aside from that, the tap-to-focus capabilities found in iPhone 4 is also present in this iPod offering. This can work as a pocket camcorder but only if you consider it as an additional tool of being a multimedia player. The size and style is impressive compared to the older models and the applications are still great which include the browser, email app, Google Maps and FaceTime.

On the other hand, if you really want to have a serious camcorder, better have a real high-end camcorder because this new model’s cam will not make digital cameras look like a loser. When it comes to sound, this model can still make Apple proud but not that much once you use external speakers. Though its speakers are housed the same as iPhone 4, the sound that this new iPod Touch produces is a bit tinny.

iPod Nano

The elongated Nano that we know before is now replaced with a model that is almost the same size as the Shuffle. Its new compact size and long battery life makes it more handy and perfect for active and sporty people especially during exercise and running. But what’s more amazing is that the former click wheels are already replaced by a touch-enabled screen! Yes, you can now navigate your Nano with your fingers where you can even use different types of applications. But don’t get too excited about third party apps because Nano is not enabled for those yet, well for sure this is only the start where in later models it would be enabled. For now, you can use standard apps such as Now Playing, Playlists, Radio, Clock, Photos, Fitness, and more.

Touch screen for Nano is an exciting new feature especially when the image of the song’s album being played colorfully wallpapers the screen of the device. Just like any other touch-enabled Apple device, the Nano can be both touched and multi-touched.

When it comes to sound quality, the Nano produces a solid quality sound. But now, the Nano is no longer video enabled probably because of its smaller screen size. Logically, you would have difficulty seeing videos assuming that they are played in this mini-gadget.

iPod Shuffle

In the Shuffle’s most previous model, the control buttons were replaced by an in-line control. But now, the buttons are back in the new Shuffle but the digital Voice-over that announces the playlist and song titles is still present. What I just missed from the 2nd generation models that are not brought back in this new model is the lock button feature that is very useful whenever you might always accidentally bump onto things that would unwontedly change the song played. Sound is solid with earphones or headphones but may sound tinny when using speakers.

Photo credits: SlashGear (group shot), Engadget (for Touch), TechCrunch (for Nano), BoingBoing (for Shuffle).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Home Security with a Camera Phone

We do not want to easily trust anyone especially new people we meet. They can be criminals who may be watching all our moves while befriending us. Leaving our kids at home while we are working can be something to worry about. Home security is really important and that is the reason why security gadgets such as IP cameras are used by many homes and offices.

Network IP cameras are very useful when it comes to keeping our homes secured. But did you know that IP cameras can become handy with your cellphones? Yes, with your Android phone, you can use a webcam and connect it to its WiFi connection for streaming video. With the remote view capability of the IP camera connection capabilities of Android, you will be able to watch what is happening inside your house or wherever you want to plant the webcam.

To activate the IP settings of your Android phone, the first thing to do is to install the application and then start configuring the settings such as log-in and password, image quality, resolution, etc. Next, you have to look for a web browser or a client that can play streaming video, VLC for example. What you have to do with the browser or client is to load up the URL that the application will give you after configuring it.

The video output that you will receive is clear enough to be seen though the still shots can be a bit blurry. But what’s beneficial is its capability to be accessed remotely and it does not require any complicated requirements to set and it is FREE. This home security capability only requires the Android OS 2.2+ that can be downloaded in the Android Marketplace. Enjoy!

Photo credits:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nokia N8 – Not That OVI Trend Worthy?

Nokia N8 is the latest offering for the N-Series fans. With this brand new phone from Nokia which is mediocre when it comes to OVI apps, will it be worthy for the competition? Let us hear from some of our friends who gave their crunchy reviews:


The phone—sorry, multimedia computer—has three homescreens, all of which can be customized with various widgets. These screens work well, load quickly, and look purdy on the N8's bright 3.5-inch OLED display. But Symbian's user interface, even in its fancy new clothes, can still be challenging. Euphemism alert! The main reason, though, that the Slashies think Nokia's latest will make nary a ripple when dropped in the US Pond, is that there are piteously few apps in the OVI store—a must in today's crazy competitive smartphone market.

Know Your Mobile

The Nokia N8, while being something of a departure from Nokia’s usual design, is still very much a ‘Nokia’ device in terms of aesthetics. The handset features a unibody design made from Anodised Aluminium, which gives it a solid, durable, feel in the hand.

The Nokia N8 also features a non-removable battery, like the iPhone, and two side slots for both your SIM and microSD cards, which are located on the device’s left side. On the right, there’s a volume rocker, lock switch and the camera activation button. The top of the device features a 3.5mm jack slot, HDMI port and the power button.


I'm just going to come right out and say it: I really dislike Symbian's typography. The boxy, small text just looks so late 1990s to me and simply isn't easy on the eyes. When Nokia announced the Symbian S^3 revamp, I had hoped for cleaner, more modern-looking typography and aesthetically-pleasing icons. S^3 more or less looks the same as the previous version with some tweaks and added features here and there. The software also felt a bit slow, but according to Nokia, these particular demo review units were loaded with preproduction software. That's a relief, seeing as both the browser and social networking client crashed on me during my hands-on time.


This could be the most capable cameraphone Nokia has ever built. Nokia N8 uses a 1/2 inch (1/1.9″) CMOS sensor 30% larger than most compact digital cameras with a maximum shutter speed of 1/1000 of a second (aperture F2.8; focal length 5.4). Video recoding can go up to 720p HD @ 25fps.

That large storage option (16GB internal + up to 32GB external) should be enough for doing all that HD video recording and large photo file size. The AMOLED capacitive touch screen should make video playback really nice and crisp although the 1200mAh battery seemed a little lacking for all that juice-guzzling features (a number of earlier Nokia handsets have 1500mAh batteries already).


The first thing you’ll notice is that the S60 operating system has been scrapped in favour of Nokia’s newest platform, Symbian^3. It’s an evolution of S60, but brings in elements of the Maemo UI so it is much more usable. We found it to be pretty stable, especially considering our N8 is a pre-production sample. Symbian^3 is very similar to other touchscreen operating systems. There are three homescreens and each can hold up to 24 widgets, bookmarks and shortcuts.
Apps are downloaded from Nokia’s Ovi Store, but it still needs a lot of work - the selection available is limited in comparison to Android, but this isn’t surprising considering Android has been around for a couple of years and the N8 is the first Symbian^3 device. Apps developed for S60 5th Edition should be compatible with Symbian^3.

Photo credits: Slashgear via Gizmodo